2012 AMA Motocross
In a last-ditch effort to salvage the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the GEICO Honda race team put in maximum effort at the season-ending Red Bull Lake Elsinore National, but ultimately came up just short of a title.
Justin Barcia topped the team’s results for the day with 3-1 moto scores for second overall, and also took second in the final standings behind Blake Baggett.
Teammate Eli Tomac entered the race second in points behind Baggett and produced an all-out effort in both motos. In the first race, he launched an incredible late-race charge to catch Baggett, putting in a lap two seconds faster than anyone else through the day’s racing. But that charge left Tomac overheated in the 100-plus degree temps, and he was forced to back down the pace in order to reach the finish.
Eli Tomac (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “It was okay, except the points leader [Baggett] finished in front of me. I had pretty much hit the redline the lap before that, so I decided to just go and give it all I had. That was pretty much it. The heat was really bad. Since humidity usually isn’t a issue here, I was really surprised that the California race was the hottest of the year.”
A early crash in the second moto ended any chance Tomac had of grabbing the title. The Colorado rider got up in 40th place, but rallied back to 14th.
Eli Tomac says: “I was around seventh, my hand flew off the bars and I went flying. I knocked myself kind of silly, and I was last. I picked myself back up, but it really took me about half of the moto to even get going. All I lost was one spot [in the standings] today, and that’s just between second and third. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much as if I had gone from first to second.”
Tomac ended up seventh overall for the day, and third in the final season standings.
Barcia also had a shot at the title, and he led the first moto early. Baggett and Tomac were eventually able to get by, relegating him to third. In Moto 2, the New York native grabbed the holeshot and checked out, taking the win. This was Barcia’s final race for the GEICO Honda team; next year, he moves up to the 450 class on the Factory Honda team.
Justin Barcia (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “The first moto was extremely tough. I rode good for awhile but then I got super hot. I think all of us out there were baking in the oven. Second moto, I got a good start and put down some hard laps. Then I put it on cruise control. I was happy to end my time in the 250 class on a bit of a high note.
“It’s pretty emotional. I’ve been with the team five years, and the relationship goes back even further than that, all the way to my 65cc days. I’m going to miss those guys over there, we had a good time and won some Supercross championships.”
Wil Hahn put in his best ride of the season to finish fourth via 5-4 scores.
Wil Hahn (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “It was my best finish of the year, too bad I had to wait until the end of the year. I got two solid starts, that helped a lot. The first moto I kind of fell off a little bit at the end, not too happy about that, but the second moto I felt like I got stronger and stronger all the way to the end, and I passed [Ken] Roczen and [Jason] Anderson late in the race. All in all, I finished 24 motos, and that was my goal because I’ve had a couple of rough years.”
Justin Bogle wasn’t happy with his day – he went 15-11 for 13th overall.
Justoin Bogle (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “It went terrible. This had to be the worst of the year for me. It was my fault because I rode completely horrible. I didn’t even get into the top 10 in either moto. Not too stoked. I’m ready to not look at a dirt bike for a few weeks. Next year is not going to go like this.”
Barcia will next compete as part of the three-rider Team USA effort at the Motocross of Nations team championships in Belgium on September 30.